Eddies & Elspeths
SET UP & SITE:
Next to a main road, opposite a large construction site, Eddies & Elspeth is a short drive from the main stretch of Mt Maunganui’s shops. The bakery recently expanded to include a full cafe service, on a corner where parking is in hot demand. We managed to secure one, then dashed through the rain only to find all the cosy indoor seats were taken. Then our luck changed: the sun came out, and our outdoor table under an awning with a fresh spring breeze became the perfect place to be. Many others thought so too, judging by the constantly revolving front door. Clearly, word has spread about what a good start Eddies & Elspeth has made.
SUSTENANCE & SWILL:
The menu is strong — so strong we spent a full 15 minutes choosing what to order. The kids settled on a mousetrap ($6), which came with gooey cheese and a salty spread of miso, a plate of beautiful waffles adorned with berries and cream ($8.50), a coconut milkshake ($7.50) and berry kombucha ($5). The adults overordered with bacon and egg and fried chicken bao ($14), the sweet potato pancakes ($17.50), and kimchi waffle fries ($12). Everything came with extras, from the crunchy granola on the pancakes, to the crisp radish and sprouts on the bao. But the standout dish was the kimchi fries: freshly fried crinkle-cut purple kumara crisps with homemade kimchi, chillis, greens and a smear of aioli. It was good — so good a fight nearly broke out over the last few bites. The chai ($5) was decent and the coffee ($5) was strong, punchy and landed on our table before we’d finished ordering. You’ve gotta love that.
SERVICE & OTHER STUFF:
A near-perfect cafe experience but Eddies & Elspeth loses half a star for the site’s weird set-up. If you want to order cabinet food from the “Elspeth” bakery, you’ll need to go to a separate counter from the “Eddies” cafe, where you order off the menu. It’s confusing and unnecessary. Surely these could be amalgamated? Thankfully, everything else is perfect. It was a busy lunchtime but every dish arrived Instagram-worthy. Others opted for a delicious-looking pastry or slice from the cabinet. We couldn’t help ourselves and grabbed a chocolate-covered granola bar for the trip back to Auckland. But we’re already dreaming of our next trip to try the squid ink crumpets, sticky rice porridge, baked eggs and shredded roast chicken sandwich with chimichurri sauce. Mmm. Can’t wait.